Multigenre Project

Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales

About This Project

Hello! I am a senior at Chillicothe High School. I read Beowulf and Canterbury Tales for my College Prep English class. This digital portfolio consists of three pieces, with each piece consisting of a theme in either literary works relating to "power." The three pieces are followed by a "Dear Reader" letter that reflects my process of creating this project.

The Ballad of Beowulf the Great

My first piece is a ballad about Beowulf the Great. The ballad describes the power of the brave warrior. There seems to be two types of power conveyed in Beowulf. The first type of power comes in the form of strength and bravery. Beowulf fought in three battles against Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. The second type of power is revealed in the influence Beowulf had over the Geatland and Herot. He ruled the Geatland for 50 years and was greatly respected by its people.

King Beowulf's Eulogy

My second piece is King Beowulf's Eulogy. Again, as mentioned in the ballad's description, one of the types of power in Beowulf is portrayed by Beowulf's powerful, 50-year reign and his influence over the people of Geatland and Herot. His death was an extreme tragedy, as he sacrificed his life for the protection of his people.

Death's Diary

My third piece is one of Death's diary entries. In The Pardoner's Tale, Death is personified and given human characteristics. The three rioters wanted to avenge their friend who was "murdered" by Death, a person who walks the dark alleys of Belgium at night looking for victims. Later in the tale, Death comes in the form of an old man sitting under the groves. Death was an important aspect of Anglo-Saxon culture because of the plagues, massacres, wars, etc. Death was more than just a process-- it was a fact of life. The power and influence of Death on Anglo-Saxon literature matched well with my "power" topic that connects all my pieces together. The personification and power of Death was interesting to me while reading, so I decided I wanted to write a piece from Death's point of view in the form of a diary entry and incorporate some of my research into it.

Dear Reader,

I now have an in-depth understanding of Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales because of the pieces I have written. Creating the literary pieces for this project required more than just understanding the plot-- it required the analysis of the topic I chose for the piece, and forming it into a theme relating to one of the literary works. I chose "power" as my topic because I know power can be portrayed in many ways. Throughout my project, power came in the form of strength, respect, and control-- which I incorporated into each theme. The ballad was the hardest piece for me to write because, unfortunately, I'm not that good at rhyming and keeping a consistent syllable count. The diary entry was the most enjoyable to write because I chose Death, an unexpected personified character, and wrote a diary entry based on the events of The Pardoner's Tale. I also incorporated some of my research about the influence of death in Anglo-Saxon literature to make Death a more complex character. In the future, I will identify and analyze themes in any literary works I read. Identifying repetitive topics and themes really changed my analysis of Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales. The theme is a unifying/central idea, and analyzing it in each piece created a new, in-depth level of understanding for me.